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  1. Calaverasgrande

    I went through about a dozen drum machines until I got an Elektron Machinedrum. Though they can be pricey if you opt for the sampling verrsion. The older SPS MK-I version is a tiny bit thicker sounding (and noisier).
    But any Machinedrum is rock solid, easy to use and covers a broad swath of drum machine sounds from sampled, to modeled to glitchy noise.
    They also sync up exceptionally well with other gear.
    As far as vintage cheapos I’ve gotten great results from my Synsonics Drums. It has 4 pads which feel like they will break if you play them with drum sticks. But can also be used as a drum machine, albeit a crude one. Easy to find for $20-40 at flea markets.
    The next vintage cheapo is the Korg KPR77 which sounds great and is incredibly hard to program. But it has the best clap sound of any drum machine.

  2. Anonymous

    Still using the Roland R8MK2

  3. James Elcome

    Great article ,inspiring !!!

  4. Sonic Phill

    What about the Akai XR10?

  5. Jack Cosper

    I play guitar, bass, keyboards and some drums. I began to write songs after borrowing a friend’s Casio RZ-1. That machine proved indispensable in helping to bring my songs to life. Only 8 bit sound resolution the machine didn’t sound bad with the other instruments added to the mix. Saw one in a pawn shop for $50 a few years back, but I’d picked up my present Alexis SR-16 which is a little more difficult to program.

  6. michael

    Nice article. But i have to point out that Depeche Mode did not use a boss DR-55 for their debut album. Daniel Miller – the producer of it – mentioned in an interview that he used an Arp 2600 for the kick drum and the snare was from a Korg KR-55. DM used the Boss DR-55 for their live performances and demo recordings before. Le Tigre used an HR-16B which is technically speaking an HR-16 but has a black color and is armed with completly different Sounds. cheers :)

    • michael

      Oh you mentioned the B-Version … sry for that …

  7. bert

    If there is one machine that outshines it’s price it must be the Yamaha RX-5. Super cool and powerful machine with stellar appearance. Only like 150 bucks.

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